Heavy flooding in Yorkshire and northern Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire disrupted rail services on Thursday 7 October 2019 after heavy rain closed lines throughout the region.
Lines between Sheffield and Gainsborough, Rotherham Central and Meadowhall, Shirebrook and Worksop and Sheffield and Wakefield Westgate/Leeds were the most heavily affected, with no trains able to run on these routes.
Engineers couldn’t even begin to assess the damage until floodwaters subsided.
Buses replaced trains on some routes, but the roads were also impassable between Sheffield and Gainsborough Central / Lincoln Central, making travel impossible.
A broken-down train between Huddersfield and Stalybridge, and a tree on the line near Guiseley, which blocked the direct route to Leeds and also affected the overhead wires between Shipley and Ilkley (via Baildon), just added to the confusion.
Some lined reopened late on Thursday, and some the following day (Friday 8 November 2019). But problems were expected to continue in some areas over the weekend.
The routes between Sheffield and Doncaster, including via Rotherham, and Sheffield and Goole were most heavily affected. Network Rail engineers needed to wait for the water levels to drop before they could carry out work to reopen the railway in these areas. Passengers were being advised to check before travelling over the weekend and on Monday morning.
Some flood-hit routes were reopened after teams from Network Rail worked to pump away water and carry out track inspections. These included the lines between Todmorden and Hebden Bridge, Sheffield and Huddersfield and Sheffield and Leeds.
The lines between Leeds and Ilkley and Ilkley and Bradford Forster Square were also reopened after teams worked to remove the fallen tree near Guiseley. However, services between Sheffield, Gainsborough and Lincoln weren’t expected to resume until Saturday, 9 November.
Matt Rice, Network Rail’s route director for the North and East Route, said: “Yorkshire has experienced extremely heavy rainfall over the last 24 hours and this has had a severe impact on the railway.
“Our teams have been working non-stop to clear water, inspect track and get services moving where safe to do so. This work will continue, however in some areas, we need to wait for water levels to drop before this can take place.
“We strongly advise passengers to check their journeys over the weekend and into early next week. This can be done via National Rail Enquiries or with train operators.”